From the Indypendent:
It’s not often that anyone gets a free ride during a recession, but throughout the city, a growing program is giving out more than 600 subway MetroCard swipes each month.
In response to the economic recession and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) fare hikes, community activists across the city are organizing the People’s Transportation Program (PTP), days where the goal is to swipe as many people through the turnstiles as possible with several daily unlimited MetroCards. Every third Saturday of the month, train riders in the Bronx, East Harlem, Queens and Brooklyn may walk into subway stations to find someone willing to pay their way.
Perhaps, surprisingly, the People’s Transportation System is not breaking the law. Individuals are free to share unlimited MetroCards, although they must wait 18 minutes between swipes for the card to reactivate.
“As long as they’re not charging people [for swipes], we can’t stop them from buying the cards and providing the service free to the people,” MTA spokesperson Paul Fleuranges told The Indypendent.
Gene Russianoff, director of the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Straphangers Campaign, said that roughly half of the revenue for the $6 billion annual budget for the city’s transit system comes from user fares alone. Russianoff, however, said it would take a lot of MetroCard sharing to make a dent in the revenue.
And by the way...the fare goes up tomorrow and the MTA will be broke for awhile.